Fauci, who has been the federal government’s public face for its COVID-19 response and rules, told PBS Newshour on April 26 that “we are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase,” according to a transcript. When asked whether there will be an end to the pandemic, he responded that it’s an “unanswerable question.”
In recent days, the United States has seen a “low level” of COVID-19 cases, Fauci said.
“So if you’re saying: Are we out of the pandemic phase in this country? We are.”
Fauci then pushed for people to get COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots. COVID-19 shots “might be” an “every year” occurrence, he said, adding that it “might be longer, in order to keep that level low.”
His comments come after a federal judge in Florida issued an order striking down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mask rule for airplanes, airports, and public transportation. The CDC said it would have the Department of Justice appeal the ruling, although the Transportation Security Administration said it wouldn’t enforce the mandate in the meantime.
As a result, major airlines and a number of airports announced they wouldn’t enforce mask mandates. Uber, Amtrak, Lyft, and others did the same.
Outside the United States, millions of Chinese people have been forced by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to take mandatory COVID-19 tests in Beijing. Meanwhile, a severe, month-long lockdown in Shanghai has triggered food shortages and human rights violations.
Beijing was testing the more than 3.5 million residents of its Chaoyang district on April 27, all of whom had been screened on April 25. Meanwhile, 16 million from other districts were tested on April 26 and are due for another round on April 28. In total, 20 million of Beijing’s 22 million residents will be tested three times this week.
A widely circulated video from Shanghai showed a foreigner trying to break through metal barriers onto a Shanghai street before being pulled back and dragged to the ground by four people in protective hazmat suits.
“I want to die,” the man shouted repeatedly in Chinese and English. One of the unknown individuals holding him down responded, “You need to respect the laws and regulations here.”
Since the start of the pandemic, Fauci’s agency, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has received scrutiny from members of Congress over whether the agency funded controversial gain-of-function research at a high-security laboratory in Wuhan, China. The virus was first reported in Wuhan in late 2019.
Reuters contributed to this report.